This is a public service announcement…

As some of you might remember, freenode used to send wallops when FLOSS projects had major releases and for other news that are, hopefully, of general interest. After some internal deliberation, we decided to retry this experiment. Projects are invited to submit their wallops requests to us and we will try to accommodate everyone. Obviously, we will try to limit this to relevant news and while we are not sure about the exact modus operandi yet, we are confident that we will figure something out that works for everyone.

If you want to receive wallops, simply run

/quote mode $yournick +w

or

/umode +w

in your IRC client. Please note that you need to do this every time you connect so setting up an auto-command or similar makes sense. In case you want to stop receiving wallops without reconnecting to freenode, simply run

/quote mode $yournick -w

or

/umode -w

and you are all set. Hopefully, we will manage to come up with interesting news for you. Feedback on this in #freenode or via this post is appreciated.

April 1st, the aftermatch

Some of you might have remembered the wolfgame bot in #defocus from 2008-04-01. Reception was even better this time and people really liked it. We might even make this a tradition. Feedback in comments, please.

To get your wolfgame fix during the rest of the year, join #wolfgame . We are waiting :)

We will publish the solutions to our riddles here, but we had to promise to not do so before Sunday so we won’t. Watch this space if you are interested.

Also, remember our new nick expiry times. This is now active policy.

Important service announcement regarding #defocus

As many of you are aware, back in 2008 we changed our policy in #defocus and the method in which the channel works to require users have voice to speak. For the past few years we’ve been using a combination of manual action, scripts and bots to voice users as needed to control when and how and when they are voiced.

Starting today, we are changing the policy to one we believe is fairly balanced and which gives users much more control over gaining and keeping voice in the channel.

The new bot, known as brrflrqxt, will voice users as they send the command “!join” to #defocus and those who pass its tests will be allowed to keep their voice. The tests involve problem solving, proving that you are human, and therefore capable of lying, cheating, and backstabbing like any valuable member of #defocus; thus ensuring a safe and productive environment for all our users.

If you have any questions about this policy, feel free to ask any member of staff.

GURER VF N CEVMR. VG’F JBEGU VG. UVAG: ZBGQ.

enigma_cat_says_PQOWIELA

Change in nick expiry times

Up to now, the expiry time of nicks has been 60 days. As you know, Services compress timespans into years, weeks, and days. 60 days are 8 weeks and 4 days. Easy enough to convert, but still unnecessary. Also, a nick that has been registered for a long time should get a little bit more protection than a new one. In the past, we have sometimes asked users to wait a bit longer before requesting old nicks to be dropped. To make things easier and fairer, we have decided to change and simplify our official policy.

Starting on 2011-04-01, the expiry time will be 70 days, i.e. 10 weeks. For every full year of registration time, one week is added to the expiry time. Thus, a nick that’s been registered for three and a half years needs to have been unused for 13 weeks before another user can request to have it dropped.

We are pre-announcing this change as it would be unfair towards users to change expiry times just before their  60 days of waiting are over.  As usual, barring manual database cleanups every few years, we won’t drop nicks or channels on our own, but only at a user’s request.

Default port for IRC via TLS/SSL (hint: it’s 6697)

As some of you might be aware, there has been a push to standardize on a common port for IRC via SSL/TLS. Same as you can reasonably expect any public ircd for plain text connections to listen on port 6667, you should be able to expect any public ircd for IRC via SSL/TLS to listen on port 6697.

All IRC networks, except one, in the global top twenty which offer IRC via SSL/TLS are listening on port 6697 and many smaller networks do, as well. Clients like irssi default to 6697 as do daemons like Charybdis and seven. Similar to how port 6667 is not the only for plain text, 6697 is not intended to be the only one for SSL/TLS, but it’s still nice to have a common standard.

The Internet Draft linked above will not be made into a proper RFC quickly as these things tend to take a lot of time, but for all intents and purposes, 6697 is the canonical port for IRC via SSL/TLS, today.

Update: In case we didn’t make it clear enough (apparently we didn’t): You can still continue to use all other ports we have listened to in the past. But we will start recommending 6697 from now on.

Update2: Yes, we are listening on port 6697 on all our ircds, be they IPv4, IPv6, or .onion.

freenode 70k

With apologies to cringing table-top players, we are more than happy to announce that we passed the threshold of 70,000 active users a few minutes ago. Lingering at a maximum of 69,991 lately, we have been anticipating this day for some time, now. And it has come :)

We’d like to thank all of our users for using freenode. Without you we would, quite literally, not have made this milestone.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers, whatever fields they have chosen to help out in.

At the moment, we’re growing at 10,000 users per year and a bit:

http://blog.freenode.net/2007/08/freenode-has-reached-40-000-users/

http://blog.freenode.net/2008/09/50000-active-users/

http://blog.freenode.net/2009/12/happy-new-year-2010/

We’re looking forward to continuing this trend and reaching 80,000 sometime around March of 2012 :)

We are going to FOSDEM

going-to-fosdem-2011

As every year, some of freenode staff will attend FOSDEM. If you have any concerns, praise, criticism or free beer you want to share with us, you are more than welcome to meat us. The best way to coordinate meatings is to simply join #freenode-fosdem and poke us.

As an aside, we are trying to get a general IRC meating going. It’s geared towards staff/opers, developers, sponsors and anyone else who has to do with IRC behind the scenes. Tentative planning is for Saturday evening and at this time, we have people from irssi, IRCnet & freenode on board. There’s no fixed agenda and everyone is invited to suggest topics of interest, preferably before the actual meating. We might even update this post with details if there are any :)

Yes, we are going to FOSDEM

As every year, some of us will attend FOSDEM.

This year, you will be able to meat czajkowski, kloeri, RichiH, SeJo and a FOSDEM-virgin: marienz (be gentle). If you have any praise, complaints, questions, spare beer or just want to connect a face to a name, you are more than welcome to poke us.
Hunt us down via IRC or the linked identi.ca pages and we will try to meet you.

I'm going to FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting

What’s your story?

We would like to feature a few stories of how open source in general and freenode in specific influenced you and your life. Anyone who is interested in getting their story published should write email to blog*freenode.net. Depending on feedback, this might even evolve into a weekly feature (or not ;) ). So, happy submitting!

freenode is about you and don’t just take our word for it

We are still experimenting with this blog and we would really like to get some input on what interests you guys and gals. So please take five minutes, sit down and write a comment to this blog post. Tell us what you feel, what you think, what you love, what you hate, what you always wanted to know about us and anything else you can come up with. Talk to us. I promise we will answer.